Courtesy of Nixon
Nancy MacDonell
August 03, 2015

Of the many examples of digital technology made for the wrist, most, with their nagging directives to raise heart rates or monitor email, seem destined to annoy. The Ultratide watch from Nixon, however, was created for the most beatific of reasons: To advise wearers of what’s going on at their favorite surfing spot.

In partnership with Surfline, the pre-eminent surf forecaster, the water-resistant Ultratide uses Bluetooth technology to provide real-time data on wave height, swell height and direction, wind speed, air and water temperature, and tide times for 2700 surfing locations worldwide.

“Twenty years ago you had to call Surfline. Then they would fax you. Then it was desktop. But this is completely different—it knows where you are and gives you the conditions as they’re happening,” says Nixon co-founder (and, naturally, veteran surfer) Chad Di Nenna.

Wearers don’t even need to worry about recharging the Ultratide—the battery is intended to last for 24 months, and lets the wearer know when to send the watch in for battery replacement and servicing. But perhaps the Ultratide’s most Zen-like feature is its perfect condition alert. “If you look around and see the best conditions possible, you can set the watch so that it will let you know when they’re happening again,” says DiNenna. If only more tech did that.

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